Bitter About Buckwheat No More

21 Nov

After my treasure hunting expedition in the kitchen yesterday, I came across ingredients I had long forgotten in the bottom of my deep freezer.  One of these was kasha, also known as buckwheat groats.  I purchased them once, almost a  year ago, in order to make a breakfast meal that turned out absolutely disgusting.  The concept and pictures seemed promising — it was a chocolate pudding with fresh strawberries and soaked buckwheat groats.  But the groats are bitter, and they just didn’t do anything for me that couldn’t have been achieved ten times better with rolled oats.

But I hate wasting food, and so the buckwheat sat in my freezer until now.  And it probably would have continued to stay in my freezer for months to come, had I not come across a recipe by Wendy Gabbe Day, author of the book Scatter Vegan Sweets.  I am currently reading it and writing a review for the American Vegan magazine, and just recently read the recipe for a buckwheat smoothie.  Perfect timing!

What sets Scatter Vegan Sweets apart from other vegan cookbooks is the fact that Wendy focuses exclusively on gluten-free, nutrient-dense ingredients with low fat, low sugar, and no oil.  The book includes sweets that are not limited to desserts, such as breakfast foods and the smoothie I made today

With her permission, here is Wendy’s recipe for her Raw Berry Buckwheat Smoothie:

  • 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats (soaked overnight)
  • 1/3 cup raw nuts (soaked overnight)
  • 4 medjool dates (pitted, and soaked overnight if you do not have a high speed blender)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 frozen bananas (chopped)
  • 1-1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (or other frozen fruit)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (or other frozen fruit — I used raspberries)
  1. In a bowl or jar, combine the buckwheat and nuts and cover with water.  Soak overnight or for 4-8 hours.  (This water will be discarded).
  2. In a separate bowl or jar, soak the dates in 1 cup of water overnight of for 4-8 hours.  If you’ve got a heavy duty blender, you can skip soaking the dates.
  3. Drain and thoroughly rinse the buckwheat and nuts.  Place in the blender.
  4. Add the dates and date water to the blender.  Blend thoroughly.
  5. Add the remaining four ingredients and blend until smooth.  Add additional water, if needed, for smoother consistency.

The idea would be to think about what you’re having for breakfast tomorrow morning, and soak the necessary ingredients over night.  Once you wake up, it really is hardly any work at all to make this smoothie.  Last night, I did measure out and soak the groats and nuts in water, but I forgot about the dates.

This morning, I blended the buckwheat and walnuts in the blender, as the recipe specified, but unfortunately, I do not have a high speed blender.

So before adding the dates, I put the dates and the 1 cup of water in the food processor separately to ensure that they were thoroughly chopped.

Once chopped I added them, water and all, to the blended buckwheat.

The frozen fruit was the last step, in which I did substitute raspberries for strawberries, since that was all I had.

I was pleasantly surprised that all the fruit and dates completely obscured the bitterness of the buckwheat.  The walnuts gave the smoothie body, and the buckwheat had a milkiness to it after having been soaked overnight.  This smoothie was different for me, however, because it wasn’t a green smoothie. This one actually did not contain kale, spinach, dandelions, or lettuce like my typical green smoothies — my husband was thrilled to see that this morning’s smoothie was indeed pink, and not green or brown!!  I will definitely make this smoothie again with the remainder of my buckwheat groats — and who knows?  I might even buy some more that won’t live in my freezer for a year.

 

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2 Responses to “Bitter About Buckwheat No More”

  1. kc April 10, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    Hi! I am collecting good smoothie recipes for my husband who will likely be on a liquid diet for the next couple of months. Do you have any idea how I could find out nutrition counts for your smoothies so I can keep track of his protein/carb/veggie (or fruit) counts?

    • jerseyveganchick April 10, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

      Use a calorie counter like myfitnesspal.com or nutridiary.com. Just add whatever you’ve put in the smoothie to the counter (like 2 bananas, 1 peach, 1 cup spinach, etc.) and it will keep track of it for you. Go easy on the proteins and fats, as the amount we need is greatly exaggerated by the food pyramid and dangerous. Focus on veggies and fruit.

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